bio·​mag·​ni·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ¦bī-(ˌ)ō-ˌmag-nə-fə-¦kā-shən How to pronounce biomagnification (audio) \

Definition of biomagnification

: the process by which a compound (such as a pollutant or pesticide) increases its concentration in the tissues of organisms as it travels up the food chain In a process known as biomagnification, fish accumulate mercury more rapidly than they excrete it, and every fish up the aquatic food chain contains more than the one it just ate.— Bronwyn Garrity, Vogue, May 2009

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Other Words from biomagnification

biomagnify \ ¦bī-​(ˌ)ō-​¦mag-​nə-​ˌfī How to pronounce biomagnify (audio) \ verb, transitive + intransitive biomagnified; biomagnifying; biomagnifies
In addition, litter leaches toxins into the water and soil. These toxins can be biomagnified, meaning the pollutant is concentrated ten times with each step up in the food chain from plankton to humans. — Jennifer Fankhauser, Kern Valley Sun (Lake Isabella, California), 1 Aug. 2012 Mercury is a persistent contaminant that biomagnifies up the food web, causing mortality, reproductive failure, and other health effects in predatory wildlife and humans … — Daniel A. Cristol et al., Science, 18 Apr. 2008

First Known Use of biomagnification

1969, in the meaning defined above

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Cite this Entry

“Biomagnification.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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